Skip to comments.Dinosaurs had fleas too _ giant ones, fossils show
Posted on 02/29/2012 11:22:44 AM PST by null and void
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the Jurassic era, even the flea was a beast, compared to its minuscule modern descendants. These pesky bloodsuckers were nearly an inch long.
New fossils found in China are evidence of the oldest fleas - from 125 million to 165 million years ago, said Diying Huang of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology. Their disproportionately long proboscis, or straw-like mouth, had sharp weapon-like serrated edges that helped them bite and feed from their super-sized hosts
AP Photo/D. Huang
But Engel said it's not just the size that was impressive about the nine flea fossils. It was their fearsome beak capable of sticking into and sucking blood from the hides of dinosaurs
These flea beaks "had almost like a saw running down the side," Engel said. "This thing was packing a weapon. They were equipped to dig into something."
Just finding the fleas was a stroke of luck, He first found one in a Chinese fossil market and mentioned it to someone at his hotel. The other guest showed him a photo of another fossilized flea, telling him it was from Daohugou in northeastern China. Huang went there and found fleas preserved in a brownish film of volcanic ash. The grains of rock were so fine you could see antennae and other details of the fleas, he said.
It shouldn't seem too surprising that there were large fleas more than 100 million years ago. If you go back even farther in time, ancestors of dragonflies and damsel flies had 3-foot wingspans, Engel said.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
We have our own giant bloodsuckers in this day and age...they’re called “Democrats”
Giant fleas are proof that Democrats evolved from insects. The one pictured could be a twin for Nancy Pelosi.
Not exactly the first story I thought I would read today and find so interesting. Thanks.
Wow fleas the size of VW’s. Don’t need weed for that trip.
Which came first? The dinosaur or the flea?
Dog’s worst nightmare.
With fleas that big, you wouldn't need dogs. Just keep the fleas as pets...
If you go back even farther in time, ancestors of dragonflies and damsel flies had 3-foot wingspans, Engel said.
Apparently what happened is that they started to marry and breed beneath their station.
Dinosaurs are gone , but the fleas are still here. A clue here as to why democrats are still around.
Does it involve the word 'pest'?
Close. Parasites have staying power!
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks null and void.
And the great fleas, themselves, in turn
Have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still,
And greater still, and so on.
This brings up all sorts of new questions for paleontologists to argue about.
Wouldn’t dinosaurs have to have dinosaur hair, fur or feathers for the fleas to cling to, lay their eggs and to hide in?
Did dinosaurs scratch or were they too tough to bother with flea bites?
Male flea from the Early Cretaceous. In the Jurassic era, even the measly flea was a beast. It was a super-sized bloodsucker that feasted on dinosaurs with a saw-like siphon. (AP Photo/D. Huang, Nature)
Insects do not have lungs. Reparation is accomplished using trachial tubes, which sets an upper limit on the size of an insect. For these giant insects to get enough oxygen, it implies that the Jurassic period had a more oxygen-rich atmosphere than today.
It does make one wonder just how much of the atmosphere a Chicxulub sized asteroid impact can blow off into space...